I've found I travel quite differently while in a group. It's nice to not have to worry about the details like where I'm staying for the night or how to navigate my way to the train station, but I've found I've become less aware of my surroundings. I've been in Prague for a day and a half now and even despite the fact that we spent the afternoon on a quick trip to a small town outside, I think that I'd have a better sense of where I am in the city if I were forced to figure it all out for myself. That's typical of group travel, I'm sure, so I'm going to have to make a more conscious effort to learn my way around because I think I enjoy a city more when I know how the streets and metros and buildings all connect and intersect.
The group dynamics are interesting; everyone is either mid-30s, mid-60s or me. There are two other graphic/magazine designers in our group of 8, amazingly. We've had great discussions of typography, poster illustrations and graphic symbolism -- not to mention all the hints and tips we've shared about getting the most out of our cameras. All this and we're in Prague -- a mecca for Art Nouveau! As I told Jana, it's fantastic to be in a city that values lovely signage.
That Which Has Become My Most-Uttered Phrase of My Trip
Simon pointed out that I said it often (in comparison to Sarah, who apparently uses the almost interchangable "That's funny...") and now I've noticed that I say it all the time. I won't appologize for my seemingly bland vocabulary, though, because it's true. It's all interesting.